Fiber Cement Siding vs Vinyl Siding: What are the Differences?


Fiber Cement Siding vs Vinyl Siding: What are the Differences?

Most people thinking of house siding as a strictly aesthetic entity. What these people don’t realize, however, is that siding actually serves a functional purpose; namely, it prevents heat, cold, and moisture from seeping into your home. In essence, it’s important that your siding is strong and intact.

Perhaps your current siding is approaching its demise, and you’re looking to install new siding? If so, you’ve got a number of options to choose from.

Two of the more popular types of siding are fiber cement and vinyl. Wondering which type is best for you? Read on to discover the differences.


In terms of construction, fiber cement and vinyl are different. Whereas fiber cement has some characteristics which are similar to wood, vinyl is quite simply just a plastic.

Fiber cement siding actually contain traces of wood. Wood particles are mixed with Portland cement, forming a shingle which is tough, yet attractive. This siding is installed the same way that wood siding is installed.

Vinyl siding is made out of PVC plastic, allowing it to be manufactured cheaply. It’s for primarily this reason that it’s the most commonly used siding in the world today.


When it comes to aesthetics, both fiber cement and vinyl siding offer a great deal of variety. Not only are they both available in a number of colors, they’re available in a number of styles as well.

Fiber cement can be purchased in the style of round shingles, flat shingles, square shingles, and prolonged planks, to name just a few options. It is typically designed to appear as wood.

Vinyl siding is available in just about any style you can imagine. It is often specifically designed to appear as wood or other traditional siding materials. Available in essentially any color, you’re guaranteed to find a vinyl siding that you appreciate aesthetically.

Energy Efficiency

When it comes to insulation, both vinyl and fiber cement siding are lacking. Because they’re rather thin, they don’t do a great job of keeping out drafts. However, there is some variation depending on the type of siding you purchase.

These days, vinyl siding is often made with foam lining on its interior. This foam is specially designed to provide the siding with more insulation, giving it greater energy efficiency.

Fiber cement siding does not offer this. It comes in one form, with thicknesses varying by only a few millimeters.


In terms of maintenance, there is a bit of variation between fiber cement and vinyl siding. While vinyl siding is essentially void of maintenance, fiber cement siding can require a decent amount of maintenance.

At most, vinyl siding will require a bit of cleaning. It does have a tendency to accumulate algae; this will necessitate a washing with soap and water every once in a while. However, it’s designed in such a way that it rarely suffers damage.

Fiber cement siding, however, will typically need to be re-painted and re-caulked every few years. Because it’s painted, its colors will eventually start to fade. This is in addition to the cleanings which it will undoubtedly need. It should also be mentioned that fiber cement is vulnerable to cracking.

Fiber Cement Siding vs Vinyl Siding: Which Do You Choose?

Have you chosen a winner in the battle of fiber cement siding vs vinyl siding? Do you live in the Arlington Heights area? If so, and if you’re looking for a home exterior remodeling company to help you install your siding, Aspen Exterior is the company to call.

We’ve been installing siding since 1978 and have left a bevy of satisfied customers in our wake. It would be our honor to help you.

Contact us today to discuss your needs!

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